What I Need

I’ve bought quite a few things in my lifetime: from action figures to board games, to tools, to art supplies, to the things I carry every day. But did I really need any of that stuff? Probably not. I could probably argue that my EDC (every-day carry) stuff is pretty necessary in my day-to-day life based on how much I use it, but I don’t think it would qualify in anybody’s bare-bone definition of “need”.

What everyone needs is obviously food, water, (in theory) shelter, and the ability to obtain those items. All of the things I “needed” to complete those collections, fill out my EDC, or upgrade my toolset probably weren’t that necessary. But I think I did “need” some of them. Not in the “food and water equals life” sense, but in the “helps me obtain life necessities” sense (the tools), and in the “I have enough resources to get something extra that doesn’t interfere with basic survival” sense.

They might not be things I need, but I can afford them without taking away from mine (or anyone else’s) means of living. In many cases I’m either supporting the company that makes them directly, or the endeavors of the local charity shops. And since I take good care of my stuff I end up with a lot of it, and with a lot of it comes the constant need to justify what I “need”. Do I “need” all of this stuff? If not, why do I have it? Well, I like it, it lets me have fun, and in several cases it gives me an activity to do with friends. It helps me learn new skills to both simply be a more educated person and help friends and family who might be in need.

Now most of it is me just asking myself, but sometimes it’s other people asking “do you really need all of this?” or “What are you gonna do with that thing?” And really, I admit to not being the best person ever, but: I’ve given to people who needed it, donated to charities, recycled and reused many of my disposable items, not stolen from anyone, gotten my basic needs taken care of, and not created a giant pile of stuff that will fall over and kill me or breed disease like a cesspool. I think I can decide I’m at a point where what I “need” isn’t all that needs to be considered when I intend to purchase something.

Now that’s not to say I buy things at random, or that I should “over buy”. Or that I’m too high and mighty to consider what I really need. But I think that I (or you) after basic needs are taken care of (food, water, shelter, safety, backups, etc) have been taken care of, shouldn’t have to justify absolutely every purchase in my mind or to others with “needing” it. It overcomplicates things and puts too much emotional influence on the object. It’s just a thing, and I like things, but I don’t need them.

Why am I so Bad at Publishing Articles Consistently?

Now I really have a good reason for it this time: in 3 weeks, I moved, produced 2 new (and 2 revised) books for, and attended, a (mini) Comic Con. So I’m late, I get it, and I really shouldn’t be, but it seems that of the things I’m late for, doing my articles on Friday are the one I’m most consistently late at (not counting videos, and editorial cartoons).

I have wondered why this was the case in the past. And I really don’t know. I’m (for the most part) on time with most of my reviews and especially my comics. It’s just something about the “medium” form writing that makes me late.

It might be a lack of inspiration, or ideas, rather. What in the world do people read on the internet these days? And it has that Blogging problem of most people’s lives not actually being interesting enough to maintain a Blog. It’s also the fact that I started them as a comedy thing, and longer-form comedy is not how my brain works.

That’s why I’ve mainly switched away from comedy. Doing articles on things I’m interested in, or things that are happening right now, is just easier.

They are also posted on a traditionally weekend day, Saturday, (or now Friday). And while almost all of the rest of my life has completely forgotten about any artificial day/week structure, maybe it’s still there in that sense for this article writing. And while for anything else I can wait until the night it’s scheduled for to do it. For Blogging, that really doesn’t work. So waiting until the last minute on a Thursday night/Friday morning might be a terrible scheduling idea.

It’s all still excuses. I really just need to do it, which I have been making a new routine to do more easily. I know that it is something I can do since I usually can catch up. It just needs to be done in a more organized fashion. So I’ve been reading about time management, and I’ll get back to this topic in a few months and see if it’s worth another post about my progress.

Moving Etc…

Moving but I can’t believe it.

That was the title of this article two weeks ago, when I tried to write it when I was moving. For the record, this a bad idea. A good idea is to have things planned ahead of time and don’t try to do work when you’re moving. Anyway, obviously I didn’t get it done. I barely got anything done that week, or the week after. And now I’m here and still barely getting anything done.

Part of that is shock. Three weeks ago, when I was visiting Austin, I was very confident in my ability to fail at getting an apartment. But I didn’t fail. And the shock of actually getting a place at a “decent” price so near school time was just too much for my brain to handle. I spent the next week not planning for the move at all because I still couldn’t believe it was happening. (My mother would like me to mention how much she helped, and it was quite a lot)

I have only moved this once in my life, and it was difficult, as I couldn’t do what my brother and most people my age have done and simply take a few things and go. I have enough responsibilities in my website and comics that I had to take all of the things necessary to continue those, but they wouldn’t help enough to affect my life in any other way. In essence, I was taking my future, something that I’ve spent a lot of time working on and don’t want to waste, but something that is currently just a drag on my social and business life.

Not that I don’t drag that down anyway. I barely went outside the first few days, probably because I don’t have any money and going out usually requires money, because that’s what it takes to do things.

At this point I should have already posted a Blog post about my move being the reason all of the things are late this week (at least I got all but one released on the right day). So, as with many of my articles, I’m not sure what I’m trying to say here. I’m just overwhelmed, I feel like I’ve learned and re-learned so many things and I just don’t know how to organize my thoughts.

My routine has already been shattered, and will need quite a bit of time to fix, I reckon. Things will be late, things will be not done, new ideas will pop into my head. I just have to keep moving, which, as tired as I am right now, seems very difficult.
So yeah, I’ve moved and I can’t believe it. It doesn’t make sense to me, but a lot of things don’t make sense right now. I think I’ll have to make do, and it should all work out.

On the Dismissing of Events (Warning: Almost Political)

Warning: Almost Political

I’ve been perusing the internet in the past few days. And of course around 9/11 there was a lot of talk about 9/11. I’m not a conspiracy theorist, nor am I a government patron. I’m not going to try to condemn or praise the United States government here. However in these talks about the past there have been many people dismissing those events. They dismiss them for various reasons, including: “it was a set-up, relatively few people were killed, it pales in comparison to later events, terrorist attacks happen all the time, or simple that it was twelve years ago and that makes it no longer relevant.”

But really it is relevant. I don’t care how you feel about it, it is still important. There are still lines in the sand being drawn over it, there are still policies directly associated with it. Government supporters and government critics, in many countries, not just the U.S. still make it a part of their agenda. It continues to shape politics in America. No matter how dismissive some people will be politicians will for better or for worse continue to use it as a tool, or a reminder. It will continue to be part of the justification or vilification of government programs. And to those who dismiss Americans as being pompous or over dramatic don’t realize the cultural ramifications. Despite what we think Americans rarely forget.

So, I urge people next year to not be dismissive of this date, or of the talk surrounding it. To dismiss it is to hand it to the dogs. If you wish to see it’s message changed or viewed in a new light speak, and speak with an argument, not a few words and a wave of a hand. It, as an event, must be seen, understood, and dealt with, as all events. There has been no closure. Simple stuttered gasps have been attempted, and the remembrance on this day is because of that. And if people continue to ignore or dismiss it there will never be closure, and that can be dangerous.

Specificity is Always Good

I’d like to be specific here: specificity is always good. And one should practice being as specific as possible. Whether it’s just a board game, or your job, or some dangerous work that you have to do, you want people to understand what your intentions are and how your going to go about them.

Let’s face it, none of us are evil masterminds or spies who would benefit from our intentions not being known. And we can still keep some things secret, but in everyday life, making your intentions known is helpful to others, and then they can be helpful to you. No one wants to bump into you, or to get in your way at the copier, or to turn your computer off for that update right as you were in the middle of that big project. This loses both of you time, you even more because of the time you spend yelling at them. It’s great when people know what you’re doing and can avoid getting in your way.

Okay, that’s not specificity, that’s openness. But the two usually go together, and you should never be nonspecific with a plan you are being open about. With that copier example, you want to tell someone that you’ll need “X” copies and then tell them which copier you’re going to get it from. You also don’t want someone chopping their arm off while doing work for you because you didn’t tell them what could go wrong or something like that.

Being specific is probably best if you’re working with someone, which you should be. In a cooperative board game it is one of the things that can save the game. If you’re working in an office it is best to tell every exactly what you are doing and what they should be doing so they can see how it all comes together.

To be concise, specificity is always good. Conciseness is always good too.

You think they bought it?”